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Namibian athlete claims new world record

Namibian athlete claims new world record

Staff Reporter

 

THE 17-year-old Christine Mboma broke a 30-year-old world record while another young Namibian, Beatrice Masilingi missed the record time by mere hundreds of a second when she crossed the line in second place.

 

Mboma became one of the 20 fastest women in the world when she sliced almost a third of a second off the 400-metre sprint world record for athletes under the age of 20 while competing at an athletic event in Zambia on Saturday.

 

Masilingi, ran the race in 49.53 seconds which is only four hundreds of a second slower than the record. Masilingi is currently Mboma’s biggest rival in the 400-metre sprint.

 

Mboma, who hails from a village in the Ndiyona constituency in the Kavango East Region ran the 400 metres in 49.24 seconds which is 18 hundreds of a second faster than the current world record of 49.42 seconds.

 

The previous world record was set by German athlete, Grit Breuer, in the Olympic Stadium of Tokyo in 1991.

 

 

Coach, Henk Botha in an interview with Informanté said the giant achievement must still sink in.

 

“We knew that the under 50-second mark was not far away because the two athletes have been working extremely hard to achieve that milestone. I must say that to see a woman run the 400 metres in under 50 seconds is an experience of a lifetime,” he said.

 

It is not the first time that Mboma, who belongs to the Quinton Steele Botes Athletics Club, has broken a record this year.

 

At the end of March, she broke the 400-metre Namibian junior record during an athletics meeting in Swakopmund with a time of 51.59 seconds. At the time it was the fastest that any female athlete in the world has run the 400-metre race in the world over the past year.

 

Botha said Mboma surprised everyone at the event in Lusaka when she sprinted in under the world record.

 

“Beatrice led most of the race and it was only in the last 20 or so metres that Christine came past her and won the race. When the announcer said the time was 49.24 I could hardly believe it but the official time stood on the board for all to see,” he said.

 

With the new junior record in Lusaka, both Mboma and Masilingi automatically qualified for the Tokyo Olympics when they crossed the finish line in less than 51.35 seconds.

 

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